Stacie Hartman

The Mortgage Blog of Stacie Hartman

A Brighter Forecast for Housing in 2011

The National Association of Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun says the housing market has regained stability and expects further gains in 2011. Pointing to positive trends in the overall economy, as well as housing prices, sales, and affordability, Yun predicted existing-home sales will reach 5.5 million units next year, home prices will rise 1.0 percent, and GDP will be up 2.5 percent. Consumer confidence, business spending, and job growth are the keys to continued economic growth and recovery according to Yun. Also, NAR’s U.S. Economic Outlook for October forecasts a significant increase in sales in 2011 and continued improvements for residential construction. More here and here.


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First-Time Buyers Half Of All Home Sales

From July 2009 to June 2010, first-time buyers accounted for 50 percent of all home sales, up from 47 percent in 2009. The 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows a record number of entry-level buyers, largely due to the success of the home buyer tax credit. The survey also found that the typical seller who purchased a home eight years ago experienced a median equity gain of $33,000, a 24 percent increase. Sellers who were in their homes for 11-to-15 years saw a median gain of 40 percent. Vicki Cox Golder, NAR’s president, said despite turmoil in the housing market, most long-term owners saw an increase in the value of their property. 85 percent of buyers said buying a home is a good investment. More here.

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Pending Home Sales Slip In September

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index dipped 1.8 percent based on signed contracts in September. The drop follows two month of gains and puts the index 24.9 percent below last year’s levels, when first-time buyers were rushing to take advantage of the tax credit before its initial deadline last November. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the foreclosure moratorium is likely to cause some disruption in sales numbers but he believes there will be a surge of pent-up demand once the banks resolve their issues. More here and here.

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The Foreclosure Market Forecast

Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, says uncertainty in the foreclosure market will lead to slower sales this quarter, followed by an accelerated rate of activity in the first quarter of 2011.

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ZipRealty Ranks The Nation’s Hottest ZIP Codes

ZipRealty’s 3rd Quarter Home Hunter Report tracked data from 5,400 cities within 33 markets to identify which ZIP codes had an average sale price most above the average list price and most below the average list price. According to the report, homes in the hottest ZIP codes were selling about 5 percent above asking price. ZipRealty’s John Oldham said it was an encouraging sign that prices may be stabilizing and buyers and sellers were adjusting to the new market reality. The country’s hottest ZIP code was the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood in Chicago, where homes were selling an average of 9 percent higher than asking price. More here and here.

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Home Prices and The Slow Recovery

Robert Shiller, Yale University economics professor and co-founder of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, expects home prices to continue to grow over the next four years, but at a slow pace.

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New Home Sales Increase 6.6 Percent In September

September sales of new single-family homes rose 6.6 percent above August’s rate, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nicholas Tenev, an economist with Barclays Capital, said it looks as though new-home sales have stabilized and he expects a gradual recovery over the coming months. Despite the unexpected jump, sales of new homes are still 21.5 percent below last year’s levels. The median sales price of new houses sold in September was $223,800; the average sales price was $257,500. More here and here.

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Existing Home Sales Surge 10% In September

Sales of existing homes increased for the second month in a row, according to a report from The National Association of Realtors. Sales of single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops jumped 10 percent in September. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said gradual increases in home sales indicate the housing market is in the early stages of recovery. Total housing inventory was down 1.9 percent at the end of September and the median sales price was $171,700. Yun said buyers are responding to historically low mortgage rates and very favorable affordability conditions. More here and here.

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Survey Says Housing Market On The Mend

After a slow summer for home sales, the housing market is attempting to return to traditional seasonal trends, according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report for September. The spring rush to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit caused a summer sales slump but, despite the lull in activity, the month of September saw an increase in signed contracts, stabilizing prices, and a drop in inventory. Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, said slow summer sales were anticipated and increases in signed contracts should translate into sales gains in the months ahead. Also in the report, home prices were up 0.9 percent from 2009 and 33 of the 54 metro areas surveyed showed year-over-year price increases. Inventory of homes on the market fell 2.8 percent in September. More here.

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Mortgage Rates Up For 1st Time In Six Weeks

According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Application Survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.34 percent last week from 4.21 percent the week before. It was the first rate increase in six weeks. The Refinance Index dropped 11.2 percent from the previous week and the Purchase Index fell 6.7 percent. The four week moving average for the Market Composite Index, which measures total loan application volume, is up 0.4 percent. More here and here.

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About Me:

Stacie Hartman is a wholesale mortgage Account Executive working with loan officers in Oregon and SW Washington. She has 18 years in the mortgage industry, an extensive knowledge of financing options, and a commitment to open communication and client service that make her stand out in her field. Her goals begin with uncompromising service and end with excellent results and repeat business.


Stacie Hartman
360 Mortgage Group
Account Executive
Oregon and SW Washington
Phone: 503.757.9565

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